Three Student-Athletes Inducted Into St. John's President's Society For 2014-15

Aleksandra Wachowicz of the Red Storm volleyball team was one of three St. John's student-athletes to be inducted into the President's Society at a ceremony on Wednesday, April 30.

May 7, 2014

QUEENS, N.Y. – On Wednesday, April 30, three Red Storm rising-senior student-athletes were inducted into the prestigious St. John’s University President’s Society. Volleyball player Aleksandra Wachowicz along with fellow rising seniors Mario Carrera of the St. John’s lacrosse team and baseball’s Shawn Heide will serve as President’s Society members for the 2014-15 academic.

The three were joined by family, friends, coaches, University personnel and the incumbent 2013-14 President’s Society members, which included women’s soccer players Lauren Ferris, Casey Marks and Kristina Quan and women’s basketball player Briana Brown, at the evening induction, which was held in the D’Angelo Center ballroom on the Queens campus.

Founded in 1968, The President's Society is the highest honor society in the University. It consists of those students who combine scholarship, integrity and maturity with leadership skills demonstrated by their significant contribution to the extracurricular life of the University. Members of the Society are considered part of the President's official staff and are designated special duties at University functions. They are often paired with prominent alumni, world leaders and well-known humanitarians. The society is an opportunity to make connections and build a network, as well as realize roles as leaders in something even greater: the St. John's Family.

“We are so proud of these outstanding student-athletes and of all of the members of the President’s Society,” said Director of Athletic Alumni Relations Mary Pat Beirne. “As a member of the selection committee, I am humbled by their life goals and their personal stories. They are an inspiration.”

“We congratulate these three individuals who exemplify the ideal of what it means to be a student-athlete at St. John’s,” said Chris Monasch, Red Storm Director of Athletics. “They have succeeded in incorporating success in the classroom, on the playing fields and served our community, consistent with our athletics mission.”

In the last four years, St. John’s has had 19 student-athletes involved in the President’s Society.

Wachowicz, a junior outside hitter for the St. John’s volleyball team, has a 3.98 GPA as a management major and was named to the Capital One Academic All-District First Team by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) this year. In addition to her contributions on the court at St. John’s, Wachowicz has served as a Wellness Peer Educator, a Treasurer of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, and a mentor with Athletes Helping Athletes. Her community service work includes time with the St. Nick’s Shelter for the Homeless, Bread and Life Soup Kitchen, Miracle League of Long Island, and After-School All-Stars. As a junior, Wachowicz ranked third in the BIG EAST and 60th in the NCAA with 3.79 kills per set. She also posted 4.32 points per set, which was fourth-most in the conference and 64th-most in the NCAA. A second team All-BIG EAST selection, Wachowicz was also an honorable mention All-East Coast Region honoree.

“I am extremely proud of having Ola receive the highest honor the University can bestow on a student by inducting her into this prestigious society,” said St. John’s volleyball head coach Joanne Persico. “Ola is the 10th player from our 20-year old program to be inducted into this elite group. She epitomizes the meaning of the word student-athlete and has excelled in the classroom, in the community and on the court throughout her career here at St. John's. We know she will represent us all so well as she becomes an even more visible ambassador of our beloved University.”

Carrera, a face-off specialist for the Red Storm lacrosse team, has a 3.96 GPA and is currently pursuing a criminal justice major as well as a minor in environmental studies. Carrera was named to the BIG EAST All-Academic Team in his first two years on campus as well as making repeat appearances on the Athletic Director Honor Roll and University Dean’s List. A member of St. John’s National Society of Leadership and Success, Carrera has spent numerous hours volunteering with a number of organizations in addition to his duties as a Red Storm student-athlete, including partaking in the Stephen Siller Tunnel To Towers Run for the last two years and spending time at the St. Nick’s Men’s Shelter and Maureen’s Haven Outreach Program. Carrera, a native or Riverhead, N.Y., with aspirations of a career in law enforcement, is also a volunteer at the Jamesport Fire Department and Riverhead Youth Court Program on Long Island. The junior led the Red Storm in groundballs this season while ranks in the top-40 in the country in the category.

 “We are very proud of Mario for being inducted into the President’s Society,” said Red Storm head lacrosse coach Jason Miller. “He is a great example of what it means to be a St. John’s student-athlete by his conduct and work ethic both on and off the field, and we are sure he will thrive as a member of this esteemed honor society.”

Heide, a right-handed reliever for the Red Storm baseball team, has a 3.91 GPA as a marketing major at the University and has posted five-consecutive semesters with at least a 3.70 GPA. A member of the Beta Gamma Sigma and Omnicron Delta Epsilon Honor Societies, Heide has been accepted into the Executive In-Residence Program within the University’s Tobin School of Business and has also been involved with the Marketing Club as well as the Economics & Finance Club at St. John’s. The five-time Athletic Director’s Honor Roll selection was the recipient of the Fall 2011 Lead Award for his participation with Leadership Development Student Development 101 and has completed 22 hours of community service, including volunteer work with The Miracle League, Relay For Life and St. Baldrick’s. The reliever, who made his collegiate-debut on the diamond earlier this season, has made 15 appearances and is 3-0 with a 6.23 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 17.1 innings of work.

"Shawn is an extremely hard-working and motivated individual," said head baseball coach Ed Blankmeyer‎. "His contributions to this program both on and off the field have been a result of his work ethic and he is very deserving of this honor."

To be considered for the President's Society, students had to attend a mandatory luncheon and be selected for an interview with the committee. Additionally, the students have to meet three requirements: achieve high academic standards, participate and take leadership with extra-curricular activities on campus, and possess an overall University-wide awareness.

Once the interviews are conducted and the additional requirements are met, the committee nominates selected students, and the list is submitted to the University President for his final selection. The average number of students selected range from 25-30.

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